Arranged Marriage Often Subverts Offspring Mate Choice: An HRAF-Based Study

American Anthropologist Vol/Iss. 123(4) American Anthropological Association Arlington, Virginia Published In Pages: 861-878
By Agey, Elizabeth, Morris, Addison, Chandy, Maya, Gaulin, Steven J. C.


In this study, the authors explore the presence of disagreement between parents and their children over choice in spouse as an extension of theories regarding the evolution of mate choice. In non-human animal studies, free mate choice is generally associated with higher fitness. Thus mate preferences, in humans and non-human animals, may have evolved to improve fitness in comparison to random mating. Arranged marriages might likewise reduce biological fitness if parents choose a different spouse than their children would choose. Using ethnographic data from 119 societies, the authors assess the degree to which parents and offspring disagree on mate choice. In about 85% of the cases examined, parents disagreed with offspring choice. The authors call for explicit research on fitness outcomes when disagreement occurs.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
eHRAF World CulturesResearcher's own119 cultures included in analysis

Hypotheses (1)

Parents and offspring will agree on spouse choice.Not supported

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:anj.droe